A NUCLEAR convoy passed through central and southern Scotland over the weekend, while the rest of the country was in lockdown.

It was carrying Trident nuclear missile warheads – assembled at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Burghfield near Reading – and was going to the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport adjacent to the Clyde Submarine Base at Faslane.

On mainland Scotland, all citizens have been told to stay inside and not to travel more than a few miles from their local area, so this came as a surprise to many.

The Scottish Greens said yesterday that the convoy travelled “despite restrictions and health services being stretched”.

The Greens continued: “The convoy travelled from Burghfield to Coulport and passed through Stirling, and follows another convoy which travelled to Coulport on November 27 then was sighted returning on December 2.

“In early December, there was a Covid outbreak at the nuclear submarine base at Faslane, which substantially increased case numbers in the area.”

Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Mark Ruskell said: “The transportation of nuclear weapons can hardly be described as an essential journey, and there are serious questions about the Ministry of Defence’s risk assessments if these convoys are allowed to pass through Scotland during challenging weather and while we are in the grip of a deadly pandemic.

READ MORE: Why Trident removal is critical to the security of independent Scotland

“Apart from the question about whether these convoys may have helped spread the virus at the base, if anything went wrong our hospitals are full to bursting and our emergency services are stretched.

“It is deeply irresponsible to have weapons of mass destruction on our roads, and I look forward to a Scotland that can get rid of them for good.”

Nukewatch UK tracked the convoys journey. The website said: “Severe weather warnings for snow and ice and a full-blown pandemic and still the MoD [Ministry of Defence] sends a convoy of nuclear warheads out to travel on our roads.”

Meanwhile, the Trident Ploughshares group has suggested that the coming into force later this week of the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) could mean that a future independent Scotland would ratify the treaty and get rid of nuclear weapons.

They wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said: “The current pandemic emergency has surely shown us that change in the way we live together as fragile humans on a fragile planet is both possible and necessary.

“People can change their behaviour and act for the common good if they understand why it’s necessary.

“It is time to prioritise something more effective than a toxic and absurd commitment to weapons of mass destruction. Why cling to this inhumane and illegal anachronism at a time of budgetary crisis?

“Why wait for an independent Scotland as a TPNW ratifying state to expel the UK nuclear weapons with no feasible relocation?”